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Switzerland discloses six Mobutu allies asking asylum

October 14, 1997

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ Six people from the entourage of the late Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko have entered Switzerland and requested asylum, a Swiss official said Tuesday.

The asylum applicants included Mobutu’s distant relatives, former presidential bodyguards and members of the Zairian army, Roger Schneeberger, spokesman for the Swiss Federal Office for Refugees, told Swiss television.

They arrived in the last few days at border crossings and at the Zurich airport and their applications are pending, Schneeberger said.

Mobutu himself was barred from returning to Switzerland during his final months.

The Swiss government has frozen all assets belonging to the Mobutu family or associates in response to a request from Laurent Kabila, the rebel leader who overthrew Mobutu in May and renamed the country Congo.

Kabila claims Mobutu and his allies looted the country.

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